Elliot, Class of 2018

Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical (Honours), Diploma in Professional Engineering Practice at University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

When I first started at university, I expected the workload to be out of this world. I was prepared to live in the library and have my head buried in books day in and day out. While I wasn’t completely wrong, as there were minimal contact hours with lecturers and tutorials, I could not have been more wrong when it came to the “out of this world” workload. Thanks to my IB knowledge, materials, and Stamford-approved writing finesse, I had the first semester sorted. Everyone else around me was struggling to catch up, yet I was already ahead of the game. It was all smooth sailing, really…

My university, UTS, is located in the center of the central business district of Sydney, which means I can avail of a huge variety of events on offer to students; ranging from networking, sailing, and swimming to casual drinks, paintball, and even attending performances at the Sydney Opera House. Of course, with that last one, asking for your well-earned student discount is an invaluable perk as you face the daunting $3.50 coffee price tag. Not today, and not ever, with my trusty student ID!

If there is one thing I do truly appreciate, it’s the vibe at UTS where everyone is motivated to do their utmost best and on a permanent mission to succeed. They are on a mission to concoct ideas for potential start-ups, find internships, and turn crazy designs into reality. Thanks to the sense of community over the years at Stamford, and the friendships it brought, those same skills have helped me get to know my professors and engage with other smart students. I don’t mean in a trivial way, but on a level that they now welcome my flurry of incessant questioning and always help with my thoughts and ideas. Plus, not only does it help me, but it has the added benefit of making friendships I’d like to think will last a lifetime.

To fully emerge in the first-year experience, and not just the parties, I joined a few different societies and clubs. Of course, at the top of my list was Model United Nations (MUN), as well as the Motorsports Society, Engineering Society, Food Appreciation Society, and by far the most important in reconnecting me with home, the Malaysian and Singaporean Society. The Motorsports Society is quite a special one since their race team does, as I have always dreamed of doing, design and build an electric race car every year. I already know what my sights are locked onto when it comes to being more involved in Year 2 – getting onto the electric race team!

While still at the start of this new chapter in my life, I do miss the days at Stamford. I didn’t know it at the time, but now I see how much it prepared me for what was to come at university. It gave me such an advantage over other students, even in such an odd area like writing lab and design reports. It often felt like I was the only face in my physics lectures not blank with utter confusion, which meant alongside my now stellar Excel skills, and a never-ending source of chemistry puns acquired in Ms. Rod’s classes, I was constantly impressing my tutors and outdoing my peers.

I will always reminisce about the infamous MUN meetings, where mystically less than nothing got done, but we always pulled it out of the bag and achieved much greatness in the end. I miss all the sports teams with their overly hard training sessions for no good reason. But, most of all, I cherish the memories I made with friends in the infamous Senior Study Room; now that was heaven on Earth. So, if you find yourself reading this as a student and want a wise word of advice: cherish every memory you make with friends and teachers because even though you’ll see them again, it just won’t be the same. Oh, and of course, study hard!